Unique remembrance event at Tyne Cot Cemetery

7,000 people gathered at dusk at Tyne Cot Cemetery in the West Flemish village of Zonnebeke on Saturday evening for a very special event to remember the Battle of Passendale. The “Silence meets the living city” event remembered the thousands of soldiers that perished in what is also known as the Third Battle of Ieper. A candle was lit on all the 12,000 graves in what is the largest of the Commonwealth War Graves Commissions’ cemeteries.

The choice of the title "Silent City meets Living City" was not by chance. The municipality of Zonnebeke has 12,000 residents and there are 12,000 graves at Tyne Cot Cemetery.

12,000 participants were welcome to stand by the grave of a soldier in the cemetery. In the end around 7,000 people took part.

A moment of reflection with a unique soundscape, projections and a light show that opened with a reference to the current issues with refugees in Europe.

All the graves were lit by a single candle. The stories of some of those that had perished were told. The Antwerp Youth Choir sang an acoustic version of Iron Maiden’s ‘Paschendale’.

Another moving part of the ceremony was a rendition of Laurence Binyon’s poem “For the Fallen”. As with many official remembrance events, "Silent City meets Living City" ended with the Last Post.

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